Risk of more ag­gres­sive early breast can­cers rises with age, study finds

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

While ex­perts know the chances of find­ing a type of early stage breast can­cer known as DCIS in­crease with age, a new study from Ger­many shows th­ese can­cers are more likely to be ag­gres­sive when dis­cov­ered in older women.

“DCIS de­tec­tion rates in­crease with age, mostly due to a rise of DCIS hig­h­and in­ter­me­di­ate-grade [tu­mors],” said Dr. Ste­fanie Weigel, a re­searcher at Univer­sity Hospi­tal Muen­ster in Ger­many. Th­ese tu­mors, she said, are le­sions that “carry a higher risk for tran­si­tion to ag­gres­sive can­cers than DCIS low-grade.”

DCIS, or duc­tal car­ci­noma in situ, is an early stage can­cer that is po­ten­tially in­va­sive. It is con­fined within the milk ducts and a com­mon find­ing on mam­mog­ra­phy. Treat­ing DCIS is con­tro­ver­sial, be­cause some cases may never progress and cause prob­lems dur­ing a woman’s life­time.

Weigel’s team aimed to look at the link be­tween age at screen­ing and de­tec­tion rates of the dif­fer­ent grades of DCIS. The in­ves­ti­ga­tors looked at the med­i­cal records of nearly 734,000 women, aged 50 to 69, who were screened with dig­i­tal mam­mog­ra­phy be­tween 2005 and 2008. The study au­thors looked at DCIS rates for fiveyear age groups, de­ter­min­ing the rate per 1,000 women. They then di­vided their find­ings into DCIS of low-, in­ter­me­di­ate­and high-grades.

In all, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found 989 DCIS di­ag­noses. Of those, 419 were high-grade, 388 were in­ter­me­di­ate-grade and 182 were low-grade, ac­cord­ing to the re­port pub­lished on­line Oct. 27 in the jour­nal Ra­di­ol­ogy.

The older the woman, the more likely she was to have a DCIS found, mostly due to an in­crease in in­ter­me­di­ate- or high-grade DCIS. In the group aged 50 to 54, just 1.2 per­cent had a DCIS find­ing. By ages 65 to 69, 1.7 per­cent did, the find­ings showed.

What is new about this study is the find­ing about the grades, Weigel said. That is im­por­tant be­cause the higher the grade, the more likely the pro­gres­sion to in­va­sive can­cer, she ex­plained. “For the most ag­gres­sive type, high-grade DCIS, in­ter­vals be­tween DCIS de­tec­tion and the oc­cur­rence of in­va­sive car­ci­noma have been de­scribed to be five years, on av­er­age,” Weigel added.

The find­ings con­firm other re­search that has shown DCIS in­creases with age, said Dr. Rita Gid­waney, an as­sis­tant clin­i­cal pro­fes­sor of di­ag­nos­tic ra­di­ol­ogy at the City of Hope Can­cer Cen­ter, in Duarte, Calif.

Even though the rate of DCIS in­creased as women got older, Gid­waney said, the sen­si­tiv­ity of mam­mog­ra­phy to pick up DCIS does not vary with dif­fer­ent ages. About 85 per­cent of DCIS cases were found on screen­ing mam­mo­grams, she said.

Gid­waney does take is­sue with the study de­sign, which omit­ted women aged 40 to 49. Th­ese younger women tend to have more ag­gres­sive can­cers, so in­clud­ing them in the study would have been ideal, Gid­waney said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.